Vallam Ganesha! - Heritage Treasure

Valampuri Ganesha

Valampuri Ganesha  is found on the rock cut shrine near Chengalpet on the way to Mahabalipuram

Vallam is small settlement near Chengalpattu where three rock-cut shrines are excavated in a hillock, running north to south.

Cave Temples at Vallam – On the eastern face of a hill are carved three rock-cut shrines. Two caves are on same boulder one above the other cave, while the third is located little north of the previous ones.

Cave No 1

This is the uppermost rock of this hill. The front facade of the cave is supported in two pillars and two pilasters.

This divides the cave into three openings as seen in caves of Mahendravarman I in Mandagapattu, Dalavanur, Kuranganilmuttam, Mahendravadi, Mamandur Cave1

and Seeyamangalam.

Both pillars and pilasters are differentiated into cubical top and bottom (saduram) and octagonal middle part (kattu).

There are two inscriptions on the front top cubical faces of the pillars. The corbels are curved; however curve is not very prominent so this looks like in angular profile. As also seen in other caves of the same period, this cave also has two rows of pillars and pilasters, hence partitioning this into ardha-mandapa and mukha-mandapa.

There are two small niches, beyond the pilasters of the front row. These niches are not aligned with the cave, so it looks that these were excavated later after excavation of the cave.

The niche of southern side has an image of Ganesha. As his trunk is turned to his right so it is Valampuri Ganesha.

He is seated in simhasana, and He is depicted with four hands, his Lower left hand is resting on a small platform and upper left hand is a broken lotus stalk while the upper right hand attribute is not very clear and his lower right hand is resting on his thigh.

The overall sculpture is graceful with good proportional ratios.

 

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